Must Modern Science Have Philosophical Foundations?

A lecture organized by Tabah Foundation was given by Mr. Hassan Spiker, researcher in Islamic philosophy logic and mysticism, in Cairo on April 2017.

Many natural scientists today believe that their disciplines are objective, universal, neutral and value-free, and that their truth claims are completely independent of any form of philosophy. Moreover, although the claims of positivism were decisively discredited long ago, many contemporary scientists and science enthusiasts still believe that physics, chemistry and biology are the only sources of real knowledge, leading them to claim that the true answers to metaphysical questions, like that of the existence of God, cannot possibly be known – or even that such questions are meaningless.

However, the popularity of this type of scientism is particularly surprising when one considers the consensus amongst even mainstream modern philosophers that physical science, far from being capable of dealing with all questions, accounting for all aspects of reality, or providing the basis for all forms of objective truth, actually has to assume a great many of its first principles, and cannot itself ‘prove’ a great many of the facts that it must accept in order to be able to operate. Indeed, in order to do so, it must employ another discipline, historically considered the most scientific of the sciences: metaphysics.

The talk, moderated by researcher  Ahmad AlAzhari at Tabah Foundation,  considered something of the history of the relationship between metaphysics and the natural sciences both in the West and in the Islamic world, and arrived at answers that would be of crucial importance to contemporary debates about the scientific status of the traditional Islamic disciplines.

Hasan Spiker Presents Original Research in Ottoman Kalam Conference

The Ottoman Kalam Conference in Istanbul, funded jointly by Recep Senturk’s Istanbul Research and Education Foundation (ISAR) and the think tank Kalam Research and Media, took place at the Islamic Research Centre in Istanbul (ISAM, home to one of the world’s premiere research libraries for Islamic studies) on the 24, 25 and 26 of December.

Hasan Spiker represented Tabah Foundation at the event, presenting original research on the little known Ottoman theologian Ibn Bahāʾuddīn, who in his al-Qawl al-Faṣl married mystical elements from the school of Ibn Arabi with the developed Kalam of Jurjānī, Taftāzānī, Hocazade and others. Other attendees included the Kalam author Professor Ilyas Çelebi, philosophy academic Professor Alparslan Açıkgenç, and the Kalam educator Dr. Said Foudah. The symposium brought together more than 40 researchers from across the world, and will be celebrated in a forthcoming publication, which will bring together the various papers presented at the event.



Language Matters: A Dialogue on Language and Logic

The essay that follows seeks to illuminate new perspectives and insights on linguistics and language-related topics as a significant component of the intellectual project of Dr Taha Abderrahman. As one of the most eminent contemporary Muslim thinkers, selected questions raised by some of his foremost students and colleagues allow the author to dwell and expand on issues relating to logic and philosophy, touching briefly on matters of politics, religion, and theology.